Teilhard de Chardin Pierre - Letters from a Traveller

Author : Teilhard de Chardin Pierre
Title : Letters from a Traveller
Year : 1956

Link download : Teilhard_de_Chardin_Pierre_-_Letters_from_a_Traveller.zip

THE THINKER by SIR JULIAN HUXLEY. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a remarkable man. On his mother's side he could daim collateral relationship with Voltaire, on his father' s side with Pascal. He was a leading paleontologist, and a wide traveller with an unusual knowledge of the geology of different regions of the world. His paleontological work gave him a consuming interest in the general problem of evolution, while his experience of human societies at different levels and along different directions of cultural advance led him to a new approach to the problem of man and his evolution. He was forbidden to publish during his lifetime and in consequence his works only appeared after his death. His work is now widely acclaimed and his ideas are exerting a powerful influence on thought, especially in France, and are beginning to bring almost a rapprochement between biologists, theologians and philosophers. I personally have always been grateful for having known him. We :first met soon after I came to Paris as Director-General of Unesco, and immediately established a firm friendship, which lasted until his death. We were both biologists by training, but we both had wide interests outside our specialisms. W e had the same broad aim in common-that of exploring the vast process of evolution as fully as possible, of attempting to frame some effective picture of its pattern and of man's place within it, of pursuing its implications into the illimitable future. W e both had drawn sinùlar conclusions asto the unique position and role of man in the cosmos, and both were attempting to deduce something as to the probable future trends of human evolution, though Père Teilhard's hypotheses as to the increasing convergence ofhuman variety and the resultant increase of psychosocial pressure-which in turn would increasingly direct the course of man's further evolution-were more radical than mine, and 1 was quite unable to follow him in his approach to what he believed was the ultimate goal of evolution' s march, his socalled Point Omega, in which natural and supematural are combined in a mystical and to me incomprehensible manner. However, in spite of wide differences in respect of theology and metaphysics, we found ourselves in agreement and indeed in active co-operation over the subject of the future of mankind, and its transcendent importance for the thought of our times. The important thing, we both agreed, is to study the problem of mankind as a phenomenon and to look at it sub spede evolutionis, confident that increasing understanding will gradually bring about a reconciliation of theoretical differences, as well as leading to practical improvements. Père Teilhard de Chardin's most important contribution to thought is undoubtedly The Phenomenon of Man-a notable and 1 think a seminal work which has now been translated into English. But this collection of letters and diary extracts (which should be read in conjunction with the larger work) gives us many illuminating and sometimes moving glimpses of his unique personality. ...

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